Justice Minister Hands Over Control of Somaliland Prisons to UNSOM.
June 30, 2018 - Written by editor marsan

Somaliland’s Minister of Justice, Mr. Abdiqani Mohammud A’ateye (Farid) has implemented a Prison Management System that is part of a larger network managed from Mogadishu. Currently, the Prison Management system is installed in Hargeisa’s Main Prison as well as Mandhera and its purpose is to track and manage the inmate life cycle through the system.

While an ambitious project of this scale falls in the President Muse Bihi Abdi’s mandate to overhaul and modernize Somaliland’s justice system.

The Minister of Justice flanked by the head of UNODC and Vice President of Somaliland HE Abdirahman Saylici

In a Justice Symposium held by the Ministry of Justice in February, attended by the Vice President as well as heads of UNODC, EU, SIDA, UKAID and many other donor agencies, implementation of a digital platform to manage prison population was identified by one of five top priorities for Justice reform in Somaliland. Additionally, the Minister invited Somaliland local as well as international IT companies to the meeting.

In February 26 this year, the Minister tweeted “As part of the digitization of our prison services this morning we received from our partners @UNODC Phase 1 of the Prison Data Management Information System. Digitalisation of prison service & Education for prisoners is #Somaliland gov top priority @SRSGKeating @musebiihi“. Mr. A’ateye even included Michael Keating and President Muse Bihi Abdi in his tweet.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

We were left stunned!” said a partner of an IT company that was engaged in active negotiation with the Minister on implementing a system that was custom designed for Somaliland. He added  “Unfortunately, he does not own the system, they gave him two desktop computers that no one knows what is in the source code”.

According to people with intimate knowledge of this issue, in a particularly difficult meeting, the Minister was strongly advised against accepting this system from UNDOC by an IT advisor to President Bihi who was guiding him in selecting the most appropriate system. The President’s IT adviser made it clear to the Minister that unless UNODC submits the source code and reference architecture for close inspection he should not accept it.

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